Henderson Land Development Co has become the largest shareholder in an ambitious multi-billion-dollar project to redevelop shipyards and sawmills on the Yau Tong waterfront for residential use. Sources said Henderson Land had accumulated a stake of nearly 20 per cent in the Yau Tong Bay redevelopment after acquiring businessman Henry Fok Ying-tung's interest in the project. Wheelock and Co is the second-largest owner, holding slightly more than 15 per cent. Other developers such as Swire Properties, New World Development and Hang Lung Development already are involved. Together, major developers hold about 57 per cent of the project. The balance is held by owners of the shipyards and sawmills. If an increase in plot ratio is approved, the project - expected to be done in stages - will provide about 10 million square feet of floor space in 39 housing blocks. The consortium has asked the Government for an increase in plot ratio to about 5.8 times, from 2.26 times. The application was expected to be approved by the Town Planning Board in a few months and the project could be gazetted in May next year, a source said. The project covers 42 marine lots, two government lots and land to be reclaimed, with a net site area of 20.3 hectares. The developers have agreed to set aside 8.45 hectares for open space and community uses, including five primary and three secondary schools, social centres and recreational facilities. Despite the recent property slowdown, the consortium had no plans to defer the project, the source said. It was a long-term investment in the SAR in the 21st century. Analysts said developers would benefit from the recent property downturn in bargaining for a lower land premium. The redevelopment plan was first floated in the late 1980s but did not get off the ground until early this year.